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Angry residents and traders gear up for Battle of Clontarf II

THE battle of the Clontarf Flood Wall Part Two is about to begin.

And residents and traders in the Dublin suburb are pretty angry that the scheme is back on the agenda.

Having forced authorities to scrap plans for a 2.17m high flood defence last year, they thought that was the end of it.

But as revealed by the Herald yesterday, a series of low-key negotiations are set to result in a new proposal.

Officials are hoping that, with more public consultation, they will be able achieve their flood wall objective.

The two major sticking points – the height of the wall and a lack of local input – will be addressed in a series of meetings over the coming months.

Protests

And while the issue of height has not yet been ironed out as part of the new plans, sources close to the negotiations say it is likely to be significantly lower.

It has already been agreed in principle that the flood defence project will now be entitled the Clontarf Promenade Development And Flood Defence Works.

A report has also recommended that a "design competition" for the wall be put out for tender.

However opposition seems to be as fierce as when the plan was initially mooted in 2011. Back then over 2,000, including several high-profile personalities, took part in protests.

Today the Herald spoke to residents and workers in Clontarf about the new proposals,

Rory McDyer, who lives and works in Clontarf, said: "I will fight this along with everybody else. I will fight it tooth and nail.

"I had heard rumblings that a plan was back on the table, but this flood defence could never happen, it should never happen.

Jan Power, who lives in Fairview and often walks along the seafront, said: "I wouldn't be keen on seeing a flood defence put up. The promenade here is a great resource and I use it often. I would not back any plan that blocks the view of people using the pathway, for safety reasons as well as the view of the sea."

Miranda Couglan said: "Something has to be done about the threat of flooding. I was opposed to the first plan, but I'm sure there is some middle ground that can be reached. I often come down here around 11pm at night and I wouldn't feel safe if I wasn't visible from the road. There is a safety issue and a visual one."

Barbara Lynch, who lives in Killester, and walks every day in Clontarf, said: "My sister and myself walk along the seafront every day except Saturday and we are totally opposed to these plans."

While Karen Cuffe, a Clontarf resident, said: "It just won't happen. There has to be other ways of doing this without the plans the council had. I didn't even know it was back on the agenda."

Flooding

Brian O'Donohoe, another Clontarf resident, said: "I had heard a few whispers that this plan was back on the table. I think any plans should be inclusive, instead of being bludgeoned through by the council."

Frances Lloyd, from Clontarf Road, said: "I wouldn't like anything to happen to the promenade. I'd put up with a bit of flooding rather than lose the view. I use the seafront every morning and evening to walk my dog Louis and I'd hate to see it change."

Imelda McCarthy, from Clontarf, said that "it would be nice to see the council talk it out with the residents and businesses instead of imposing something upon them".

Bernie Hourihane, who uses the promenade for a walk every day, said: "The last thing you want is something that will ruin the area.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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